A renewable energy expert said there are trillions of dollars and endless business opportunities in “going green.”
The stark realities of global warming, its effects and possible solutions, were discussed during a media and communications sensitisation session on global warming reporting recently held at the Magdalena Grand Hotel and Golf Resort.
According to Kishan Kumarsingh of the Ministry of Planning and Development, traditional energy sources such as coal are being phased out. He cited countries such as Qatar which have invested in renewable energy sources although they have large oil reserves.
He said the “green” industry has vast potential.
“There is an estimated $23 trillion out there in investments waiting to be accessed from various sources for climate action and the opportunities are for the creation of jobs in green technology in the application and the manufacturing industry of green components, solar energy as an example.”
He said T&T should look at renewable energy as an option for economic diversification.
“We have the capacity, we have the experience, we have the knowledge and the expertise, we could look at the opportunities to create PV parts (solar system components) that are increasingly going to be in demand.”
Kumarsingh also revealed that by 2021 the temperature on planet earth would increase by three to six per cent, a direct result of human activity over time.
He said it will affect the environment.
“We can see changes in water availability in the future, increased incidence of vector-borne diseases. You are going to have contamination of potable water, more spread of water-borne disease and if the atmosphere gets hotter, there will be an increase in humidity and this creates a more conducive environment for mosquitoes to breed.”
Kumarsingh also said a warmer planet will see decreased agricultural production because the soil will get drier and some areas will experience more intense rainfall, resulting in floods and loss of crops.
He said Caribbean islands’ infrastructures are also under threat as warmer conditions increase vulnerability to storms and hurricanes, affecting infrastructures along the coastline.
He also spoke about the threat to underwater life forms.
“Sea levels are rising incrementally each year. The Caribbean Sea and Atlantic ocean are becoming more acidic, even at a moderate warming rate of 1.5 per cent, about 99 per cent of all coral reefs will die at two per cent by 2021.”
Kumarsingh indicated that if global warming continues at the same rate, the temperature is projected to increase by three to six degrees resulting in catastrophic results on a global scale.
He warned that greenhouse emissions and lifestyle choices, as well as coal and oil and gas usage, must decrease to prevent the situation from going from bad to worse.